(Minghui.org) July 1, 2017, marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. About 60,000 people attended the parade opposing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Falun Gong practitioners participated in the event as in previous years, and were highly praised by Hong Kong residents for their courage in safeguarding their righteous beliefs during the past eighteen years.

“The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance represent a spirit that is cherished by all of us,” said retired government employee Mr. Li, “This is a fact.”

The parade started on the central lawn in Victoria Park and attracted a large number of spectators, despite the isolated thunderstorms. The Falun Gong practitioner group was comprised of five sections: Bringing Justice to Hong Kong, Peacefully Opposing the Persecution, Say No to Chinese Communism, End the Persecution, and Falun Gong Is Good.

Tian Guo Marching Band performance prior to the parade.

Tian Guo Marching Band in the parade.

Falun Gong practitioners in the parade (right side of the picture with banners in blue and yellow). Words on the large banner read, “Falun Dafa is Good.”

The Tian Guo Marching Band led the group of practitioners. Ms. Shi from Japan, one of the band members, said, “I used to be lost in life and wondered where I was going. After reading the teachings of Falun Gong all my questions were answered and my life had a new beginning.” She said her belief gives her inner peace and makes her more open-minded. She continued, “I hope more people will learn what Falun Gong is from today's event.”

Society Will Be Better Without Communism

Kan Hung-cheung, spokesperson for the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association, said the purpose of the parade was to send several messages to Xi Jinping, China's president, who was visiting Hong Kong that day. “One message is that Falun Gong is peaceful and beneficial to society. The second message is to stop the suppression in mainland China. The third is to bring former communist leader Jiang Zemin, who initiated the persecution, to justice and stop former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying from continuing to manipulate Hong Kong.”

President Xi's motorcade passed by when Falun Gong practitioners were holding group meditation in the central business district the day before. Kan believed Xi and his officers saw the group exercises and banners reading “Bring Jiang to Justice.”

Communism promotes violence and struggle, and it fundamentally contradicts traditional Chinese culture. “That is why it suppressed Falun Gong practitioners, who cherish traditional values,” he added, “Only by ending communism will Hong Kong be truly compatible with mainland China. Therefore, it is so important for more Chinese to renounce their memberships in the Chinese communist organizations.”

Falun Gong practitioners call for ending the persecution.

Local Residents: “Communism Won't Last Long”

Mr. Tseng left Guangdong Province for Hong Kong over four decades ago. Having witnessed the Culture Revolution and other political campaigns, he said he knew communism very well. He said, “The regime wants to control people, and it is vicious.” He said one example was Jiang Zemin, who committed many crimes for personal gain. He added, “The regime is corrupt and rotten to the core. Communism won't last long.”

He agreed that Falun Gong practitioners should continue their belief despite the persecution. He said, “I can tell that more and more people in the world have accepted Falun Gong and have become its supporters. I am a Catholic, but I fully support Falun Gong.”

Mr. Li thanked practitioners for their participation, saying, “What you said presents our voice too. We all know that the communist regime should not be persecuting Falun Gong in the first place.” He said Jiang should be held responsible for his crimes.

Chinese Tourists: “I Truly Admire Falun Gong Practitioners”

Many Chinese tourists watching the parade said they were impressed. Ms. Long came to shop from Shenzhen City and said that she had never seen such a huge parade. She said that the CCP has spread defamatory propaganda about Falun Gong for many years. She said, “I like the freedom of speech in Hong Kong, because in mainland China, even if you are suppressed, you dare not to speak about it.”

Mr. Liu said communism claims to serve people, while what they do is quite the opposite. He said, “The system has produced a large number of corrupt officials. When people tried to appeal against this, they faced strong suppression.” He said for any government to be strong, officials have to care about people and gain their trust.

Mr. Zhang from Shenzhen City said he had come to Hong Kong several times. “I like their peaceful manner, their group meditation, and their clarification of the slanderous propaganda in mainland China.” He said that when safeguarding their belief, Falun Gong practitioners also help shape the community to become a better society. He remarked, “I truly admire Falun Gong practitioners.”